Dan Durham will give a conference in the session Beauty & Make Up Enhancement, The Packaging Innovation Hub Tuesday September 13, 2016 in the PCD conference room during ADF&PCD. ADF&PCD take the opportunity to interview him to get a little insight into the session.
What are the benefits of of virtual tools?
Perfume and cosmetic brand owners are continuously trying to bring products to market using shelf-differentiating containers. However, plastic container manufacturing can be complex, which means what looks beautiful on a computer screen or 3D model may not be feasible to produce in commercial quantities. That's where virtual tools and knowledge of plastic packaging production can make a difference between success or failure for your product.
Virtual tools, backed by process expertise, can help identify both performance flaws and production headaches. This helps take concepts and convert them to viable production ready design. This provides a degree of confidence that the package can be manufactured, as well as meet stringent performance parameters.
Virtual modeling and simulation is one example of how this is accomplished. Software can be used to design a preform for your container and take it on a virtual trip through a blow molding machine. The program outputs material thickness and orientation created in the blow molding process. This is a critical performance input for FEA models.
What are the steps for using virtual tools?
You can virtually blow mold each design to test each style even before fabricating a single part. This results in substantial savings in pre-production costs and accelerates speed to market. Here's an overview of the different ways virtual tools can positively impact your final package:
A concept drawing is the first step. Even if your idea is sketched on a napkin, a 3D rapid prototype can be generated to show marketing what a physical model will look like. If CAD data is available, a focus-group ready package can be created.
Virtual modeling and simulation can capture the designer's intent and refine it to create an industrial design. Performance factors (loads, stress and real life conditions) are introduced and the design tested. Iterative changes are made and retested virtually.
Next, the design needs to be proven in production via small sample prototyping and line/consumer testing. Mold specifications will be generated. At this point, you have a complete tested and validated package.
What else in the production pipeline is enhanced through the use of virtual tools?
Managing project time and budget are critical aspects of any brand owner's commercialization timeline. That's why it's important to incorporate virtual tools to remove steps from the process and have a better chance at achieving commercial success.